The Bahraini authorities have proceeded through the Ministry of Interior to forcefully deport a senior Shia cleric Sheikh Hussain Al-Najati after direct and unrelenting pressure posed against him to leave the country. This latest decision trails another whereby Sheikh Al-Najati and 30 others were stripped of their Bahraini nationalities in 2012. That previous decision was roundly condemned by the international community through various official human rights organisations, and was considered a contravention of the National Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which Bahrain has signed and ratified.
Bahrain SALAM for Human Rights has followed closely the activities of the Bahraini authorities and considers the forceful deportation of Sheikh Al-Najati, after the illegal stripping of his nationality, a serious violation and a grave crime. Confirming that the Bahraini authorities are using their powers unlawfully and for the purposes of suppressing activists and political dissidents, and restricting general freedoms.
Bahrain SALAM for Human Rights considers these unlawful decisions posed against Shia cleric Sheikh Al-Najati as part of a longer line of decisions intended to instigate sectarian tension and pressure on Shia in Bahrain in their lines of work, education, and religious expressions – the first of which was the destruction of numerous Shia mosques and followed by dissolving Shia Scholars Council.
As such, Bahrain SALAM for Human Rights believes a legal and ethical responsibility lies with the international community to apply significant pressure on the Bahraini authorities to stop activities intended to instigate sectarian strife, rescind its decisions to strip the nationality and deport Sheikh Al-Najati, and ensure the general freedoms in Bahrain
Bahrain SALAM for Human Rights
24 April 2014